Let It Die

Engineer records’ third instalment of their three band split series returns with three more post-hardcore offerings. Despite being a scene in terminal decline in dire need of resurrecting, with emo and the like overtaking it’s popularity, this split does little to revive its fledgling status.

New Jersey’s Elemae seems to have copied, without any regard for plagiarism, from the Thrice rule book of creating black, brooding soundscapes with their use of heavy, down tuned guitars. From the vocals sounding not too dissimilar to Dustin Kensrue, to lyrics recounting tales of hospitals and religion, to the cacophonous, intense layering of sound on sound; you can’t help but wonder if the whole Alchemy Index thing was a hideous mix-up between the bands. Although not without its merits, the lack of originality leaves a very bitter taste indeed.

Soon to be following their offering with a full album on Flight-Plan records, Memorial, wouldn’t have sounded too out of place in the early 90s scene, although the high production values and epic sounds set them apart from their earlier brethren. With huge swathes of Far, and some of Jonah Matranga’s other work, painted over their sound; the lack of true originality does hamper their likability, but ‘If It Helps’ goes some way to quell these gripes with it’s near rapturous quiet/loud/quiet/loud form: definitely worth a download.

Belgium’s Soon, may have had the rawer end of the deal on this release with their production values noticeably more tinny and cheap. They are, however, the more bouncier of the bands on the split; not quite Jimmy Eat World, but leaving proceedings on a semi-high with their sense of urgency and occasional flecks of twinkly magic, they provide an interesting counterpoint to the other bands.

Although Engineer Records are still beating against the lifeless corpse of the post-hardcore movement, trying hard to revive it, you kind of wish they’d do the kind thing and let it go and remember it how it was, instead of tainted by less than exemplary efforts. It’s the musical equivalent to Star Wars; one crap sequel and three appalling prequels seem to have tainted the whole magic of the originals two classic films. It may be time to let post-hardcore die.